The fifth installment in Subtronics’ NOW THAT’S WHAT I CALL RIDDIM series has arrived, and well, this one just hits different. Textured with shrill synth work and the metallic grit of Subtronics’ well-known bass lines, “VOLUME 5” occupies a raucous 30-minute time slot that packs a deafening one-two punch.
daily reminder that i make mostly heavy dubstep, not riddim, and that the mixes are titled 90% ironically cuz 90% of the music isn’t real riddim
Each minute forcefully exemplifies what Subtronics asserts in the description of the mix: “it’s seriously just dubstep, it’s always been dubstep.” The dub-indulgent outing is part of Subtronics’ larger project of stylistic self-definition. Despite the tongue-in-cheek titling, he clearly doesn’t mind being defined by one single genre.
If the wholly capitalized format of the mix’s title tells streamers anything, it’s that, as in previous segments of the series, Subtronics will punctuate NOW THAT’S WHAT I CALL RIDDIM VOLUME 5 with his bombastic brand of ear-splitting bass. VOLUME 5 is no exception, no matter what you choose to call the genre.
A wonderland of low end artistry, HiJinx’s 2019 lineup additionally includes DROELOE, who recently wrapped their past, present, future EP series with the release of A Promise Is Made, CloZee, Big Wild, and dual riddim and dubstep experimenter, Subtronics, who partnered with GRiZ on the floor shaking “Griztronics.” Zion I, Kittens, SoDown, and The Underachievers will also cater to bass enthusiasts with resounding sets over the course of HiJinx’s two-day 2019 run.
To ready attendees for what will be, for some, the final festival of the decade, Dancing Astronaut has coalesced original productions from all of the artists slated to play HiJinx in one sprawling pre-event playlist. More information on the sold out event can be found, here.
Self-proclaimed founder of grimy dubstep genre “vomitstep,” Snails is back with an eight-track EP packed to the brim with powerhouse collaborations courtesy of his own label Slugz Music. Snails is already an extremely accomplished bass music producer by himself, but combining his signature sound with the likes of Barely Alive, Kill the Noise, Sullivan King, Wooli, Subtronics, Carbin, and more has created a truly one-of-a-kind EP filled with dubstep anthems.
Snails’ career rose to new heights in 2019 with massive performances at EDC Las Vegas, as well as Kill the Noise collaborative project Kill the Snails taking over Red Rocks Amphitheater. Now, this eclectic escargot is wrapping up the tail-end of his World of Slime headline tour that features his one-of-a-kind holographic Shell stage production. See his remaining tour dates here.
Zeds Dead has released their latest offering from their forthcoming We Are Deadbeats Vol. 4 label compilation. Entitled “Bumpy Teeth,” the joint Subtronics track clocks in as the Canadian duo’s last release of another fruitful year.
Following their Urbandawn collaboration “Sound of the Underground,” the newest single diverges from the former’s drum n’ bass tinges, but parallels on levels of bass intensity with Subtronics lending a hand to its riddim-redolent nuances. The fourth edition of the Deadbeats compilation will see highly anticipated features from the likes of Ganja White Night, Dion Timmer, Delta Heavy, and more. We Are Deadbeats Vol. 4 is out January 14th, 2020 via Deadbeats.
“Bumpy Teeth” brings the respective stylistic aspects of both Zeds Dead and Subtronics to the table—honing in detailed melodies while constructing dastardly destructive bass sounds. The track fades in with a chiming piano line caressed by laser-like synths and cosmic undertones before laying down thrashing sound design and skin-crawling instrumentals. Playing with rhythmic structures and off-beat chord embellishments, “Bumpy Teeth” and its reggaestep-inspired productions trade off with heavy bass—ultimately, proving a rollercoaster for the listener’s senses.
Hardstyle and bass music specialist Kayzo has teamed up with riddim cyclops Subtronics for a truly unforgettable collaboration: “Braincase.” Both of these talented producers have had massive years full of performances and original releases.
Welcome Records labelhead Kayzo, known for his intertwining of rock elements with bass anthems, embarked on headline tours and took over festival main stages around the world, including Excision‘s own Lost Lands, and released full length album Unleashed.
Subtronics, known for his riddim roots and dubstep hits, released chart-topping Griz collaboration “Griztronics,” as well as Wakaan-esque experimental and wobbly EP Wooked on Tronics. Fans have been anxiously awaiting the release of this collaboration since Subtronics first began teasing it on social media months ago.
The unique styles of both artists are felt throughout “Braincase,” starting with the powerful electric guitar shreds in the intro that create the perfect tension leading up to the drop. The drop comes in two parts. Initially, and somewhat surprisingly, “Braincase” pulls listeners in with a lighthearted, bouncy psytrance drop, before shifting into a massive headbanger-friendly dubstep anthem courtesy of Subtronics. This powerful single is certain to make its rounds in next year’s DJ sets, so keep a lookout.
2019 has been an undeniably remarkable year for electronic music, but what will the next decade bring? The Dancing Astronaut team has its fingers on the pulse of the coming months—notably artists who saw an immense upward trajectory in 2019 and are primed for a big 2020. These artists aren’t necessarily freshman newcomers, but rather established artists to keep a close eye on next year. In no particular order, we present our Artists to Watch in 2020 list.
Subtronics had an impressive 2019, boasting a side to bass music unique unto the cyclops army general himself through catchy fills, grotesque sound design, scintillating syncopation, and provoking dubstep arrangements. Known off-stage as Jesse Kardon, the Philadelphia producer rounded the year with a certified viral, festival hit with “Griztronics,” a collaboration with dance music’s lovable, sax-touting, electro-funk Michigander, GRiZ.
Aside from the bigger font size on lineup cards, the sound slinger boasted numerous grade-A collaborations from touted veterans such as Ganja White Night on their “Headband” offer and Rusko with “Bounce.” Other partnerships included the visually appealing “SNAILCLOPS” with Snails and the menacing “Step Aside” with “Midnight Tyrannosaurus.” After success on the festival and streaming stage, the up-and-coming engineer unleashed a furry of audio with his Wooked On Tronics.
Finishing off 2019, the friendly creator is rounding out the year with a Kayzon collaboration, “BRAINCASE.” He of course also has a Zeds Dead collaboration. Get prepared for a thrashing 2020 that can only bring more carnage, because he’s not stopping or slowing down anytime soon.
G-house, tech-house, nu-disco, hip-hop, Wax Motif can sweep it all up in a song with a flick of his wrist. The longtime scene staple has experienced nothing like a shortage on the original release front over the years. But it wasn’t until 2019 that he unrolled official album plans.
And what a rollout it was.
The first single to usher in the impending album, poised for a 2020 release, also stood as the first single shared via Wax’s newly minted self-started record label of the same name, Divided Souls. “Divided Souls,” a proper modern-day tech-house stomper, ups the ante for G-house fanatics, featuring a sermon-like vocal cut from the preeminent Diddy—yes, that Diddy. Most recently Wax shared, “Lose Control,” featuring the swiftly ascending Matroda, and sampling the late great Missy Elliot, for a dynamic update to an iconic early 2000s dance floor display.
2020 has plenty of promising developments on the Waxy horizon, between his album plans, new Divided Souls releases, his prolific touring track record, and expected activity from his House of Wax mix series.
For Ben Böhmer, there might inexplicably be no better way to cap off the year than with his debut album. Delivering the awe-inspiring Breathing filled with thematic nuances and progressive shades, Böhmer has poignantly strategized his gentle climb to the top with a steady stream of releases that have unearthed his grasp on ethereal sonics and conjunctively associated him with prolific peers. From his first appearance on esteemed deep house label Anjunadeep‘s Explorations 04 with the potently dreamy “Flug & Fall,” the Berlin talent had already cemented his ascent as a burgeoning act of his own. Consistently reaping radio play from Above & Beyond‘s Group Therapy, Böhmer has also received support from Ferry Corsten‘s Corsten Countdown, Cosmic Gate‘s Wake Your Mind, Aly & Fila‘s Future Sound of Egypt, and more.
While Böhmer’s full potential has hardly been breached, the culmination of his efforts in 2019 is just on the horizon. Coalescing with label mates Luttrell and Spencer Brown on “Gibberish” and “SF to Berlin” respectively, the fledging Berlin producer has transfixed melodic listeners in the studio and on stage—performing at not only Anjunadeep’s Open Air and Explorations circuit, but also supporting Lane 8‘s This Never Happened tour. Now, Böhmer looks to accelerate his career with his own world tour in support of debut LP Breathing and undeniably prepare for what will be his most defining year yet in 2020.
Peekaboo began gaining recognition in 2018 with his Wakaan-backed Imposters EP, as the cinematic “Arrival” shared a glimpse into his previous education as an audio engineer for horror films. Towards the end of 2018, the Michigan-born producer released scintillating bass squirmer “Babatunde” alongside G-Rex, which received multiple makeovers on a Wakaan remix pack released at the beginning of 2019 including a special VIP remix from the two original creators that graced festivals across stages celebrating deep 808 cuts.
Another early 2019 highlight is the most popular remix—according to Spotify streams—of Zeds Dead and Jauz’s dual imprint-backed “Lights Go Down,” which combined the slashing and ASMR synths atop rumbling low end that have placed Peekaboo in a box outside boxes, crafting sounds that are unique to his style. In March 2019, he released his four-track Wrecking Ball, which debuted at No. 10 on Billboard’s Dance/Electronic Album chart. The real wrecking ball offering came later that month with the thrashing Bassnectar collaboration “Illusion” featuring Born I from the bass forefather’s Reflective (Part 4) series.
After early success in 2019, the bass maven joined REZZ as the premier feature on her Beyond The Sensestour celebrating her debut self-released extended play, a stamp to the artistry and momentum garnered by Peekaboo this year—and sure to continue for the foreseeable future.
The wait for word from the Drezo camp has made for a slow-crawling 2019. Earlier this year, he announced a new EP series, Omens, alongside a standalone single, “Afterlife” from the first batch of tracks. While the electro insurrection was mighty, fans were certainly hoping for a full-length release from the fiercely sought-after LA producer this year.
Despite a multitude of delays with the EP launch, Drezo’s been able to summon a preternatural level of patience from his vastly attentive fanbase.
“I just want to represent where the heart of my whole entity lies,” Drezo recently told Dancing Astronaut of the impending EP series. “The dark, gritty club vibe, an atmosphere, really, which is very addicting to some people.”
He’s known for his “evil” earmark: a deliciously disturbing strain of mid-tempo bass. He’s proven adept enough in the production arena to garner official remixes for the likes of Destructo and Tchami, and is a known accomplice of the ever-elusive DJ Hanzel (aka Dillon Francis).
So while 2019 may have had Drezo’s tour schedule firing on all cylinders, he’s undoubtedly saved the original material for 2020. Don’t touch that dial.
Robert Hughes, under his Vincent moniker, already has a lot in store for the start of the new decade. Since stepping on the scene in 2015 with a still-popular remix of Alison Wonderland’s “U Don’t Know,” the Canadian artist has blossomed his career into a vibrant soundscape of dance and techno music.
Accompanied by a world tour at the beginning of the year, his EP For Youis his most vulnerable and masterful collection of tracks to date, featuring lyrical and emotive songs, a departure from his typical invigorating electronic sounds. He worked with vocalists like Pauline Herr, Brooke Daye, sad alex, and Love, Alexa on the five-track EP, adding new layers and textures to his sonic palette. Aside from the successful EP, Vincent released many singles throughout the year, most notably his “Falling, Fading” solo venture, his single featuring The Griswolds, “Lost and in Love,” and a collaboration with Naderi, “Wasted Time.”
Wasting absolutely no time and relishing in his success, Vincent will embark on another world tour starting in January 2020 with The Griswolds.
It’s been a fairly quiet 2019 for mau5trap mainstay ATTLAS, but that doesn’t mean something isn’t brewing. After much anticipation, the Canadian producer finally revealed the third installment in his beloved Storyline series in July, ending the year-and-a-half drought since the sophomore’s drop. Additionally, he treated fans to his EDC Las Vegas back-to-back set with Rhett on SoundCloud and even put together an edit called “boxed machinery” after hearing how well the two songs went together during the set. ATTLAS regularly played shows in 2019, including a mau5trap label takeover in London in August and a slot on deadmau5’s Cube V3 tour in September. But the best was yet to come.
In the last month of the decade, the talented producer revealed that he’ll be starting 2020 with a bang—with the release of his debut LP, Lavender God. The first single (and track six from the album), “Sinner Complicated,” arrives on Dec. 6. The artist calls the track a “textured and atmospheric roller that progresses with narrative intention from the beginning.”
While there’s no set release date for the album, ATTLAS noted in a Facebook comment that it would be arriving in less than two months via mau5trap.
Armed with a vision of world-building through sound, Rinzen and his rise as a house and techno storyteller have dawned rapidly. Entangling multimedia influences of cinema and literature with music, the Los Angeles artist has constructed his own brand to be experienced as a full-immersion concept—flush with visual-inducing soundscapes and intriguing pictorial electronic styles. Catapulting his career beginnings in 2017, Rinzen has garnered the early support of deadmau5 with accumulations of several mau5trap releases since including two official deadmau5 remixes, “acedia (ov)” and “Monophobia.”
2019 has only capitalized on his meteoric developments with scything collaborative executions at its finest and an exponential tour front. The mau5trap fixture released three EPs in the year alone, initiating solo efforts on Prologue while joining forces with Mulya and Sobek for Mirrored Screen and Evan Casey and Marb on Torus. The creation behind Torus proved a triple threat: spotlighting Rinzen’s driving force behind the formation of Desert Hearts Black, marking Rinzen as the first release of the sub-label, and witnessed him opening the warehouse launch party. Simultaneously, Rinzen’s tour presence has grown momentously from one booking a month to career-defining triple header dates while also reaping in debuts at Ultra, EDC, Desert Hearts, and more. As his name calls, Rinzen has only just geared up to give 2020 a “sudden awakening.”
Nina Las Vegas has had herself a hugely successful 2019, and all ears are on the Australian artist to take her powerful girl-boss energy into the new decade.
NLV has cemented her status as an EDM tastemaker, with hosting positions on both Triple J and Beats 1 Radio. Towards the latter part of this year, the artist also (finally) collaborated with old pal and fellow Aussie Anna Lunoe for an absolute club detonator titled “One Thirty.” The track was released on Lunoe’s longtime home label, Mad Decent, as well as on Nina Las Vegas’ own imprint, NLV Records.
“It only took 15 years of friendship and [collaborating] in every other aspect of our life to finally build the courage to work on a song together,” she said of the track. “With so much shared between us already, it might have been the easiest day in the studio for each of us.”
The producer’s electric energy is funneled towards all things music, and she’s a passionate advocate for the revitalization of Sydney club life. Those interested in catching a Nina Las Vegas set can see her at Friendship 2020 on Jan. 6.
Fox Stevenson‘s rise has been steady over the course of the past several years, but it’d be hard to argue that any year has been more prominent for the producer than 2019. After releases of varied genres on Liquicity, Monstercat, Disciple, Spinnin’, and more, the 27-year-old UK producer decided that this was the time to put together a live band, a debut album, and a live tour. Killjoy hit the airwaves in full in October after tracks like “Out My Head” and “Dreamland” had gradually trickled out. In a brief documentary released on his YouTube channel, the artist noted that it’s “scary” to put out music like the tracks on Killjoy when he was getting bookings for DJ sets where he needed to play heavier music, but when it came down to it, the singer/songwriter knew the time was now. He says this process has been about getting back to what he is “at [his] core,” and his current work has been part of that self-discovery.
With an even farther-reaching sound, the sky’s the limit for Fox Stevenson in 2020 and beyond.
Last year’s NYE Decadence festivities brought unforgettable performances by REZZ, Porter Robinson, Skrillex, and a special back-to-back set with NGHTMRE, and DJ Diesel. Click here for ticket information.
Subtronics released his new EP, Wooked On Tronics, after demolishing the dino-infested Prehistoric Paradox stage at Lost Lands over the weekend. The five-track project, including a collaboration with Moody Good, is yet another continuation of a year filled with milestones for the Philadelphia producer. From collaborations with Rusko, Ganja White Night, Snails, and his festival torcher “Griztronics,” with GRiZ, the budding DJ makes another stamp with a more solo project of gritty wubs and hefty percussion. With tantalizing high-ends through haunting ambiance, the tracks combine elements that contrast Subtronics’ complex, infectious melodies with careful crafted bass music sound design.
Subtronics told Dancing Astronaut:
WOOKED ON TRONICS is two things to me: a very specific and curtailed DJ set that contains the style I listen to in my spare time (outside of angry heavy dubstep), coupled with my chance to share other music I’m extremely passionate about with the rest of the world (besides quarter note dubstep). The EP is all of my unreleased songs that fit in line with that idea. They are the tracks written NOT in hopes of making some headbanging dance floor banger, but songs that I let myself get completely creative with and took off the restraints of, “you’re supposed to do this and that because that’s what some particular crowd likes.
I did absolutely whatever the F*CK I wanted to do with these tracks. What I strive for is to innovate and pioneer new things, new ideas or new sounds — anything that contributes to something that has truly not been done before. Obviously, that’s going to be a massive stretch, but this is my best attempt at reaching that (probably) impossible goal, and I really hope everyone appreciates it and can get down with that. These tracks sound more like me than anything else, they are the most current evolution of my sound and will continue to push away from the norm.”
Subtronics continues his seismic collaboration streak, this time with the kingpin of Slugz Music, Snails. The pair’s joint effort is titled “SNAILCLOPS,” a namesake logo combination and a menacing beast of bass. Beginning with an ominous mist, a jack-in-the-box crank melody, and clear “WARNING” vocal chops cropped straight out of a nuclear reactor meltdown scene, the buildup leads into a heinous, stomping break that combines Snails’ grimy sound design and Subtronics rhythmic syntax.
Subtronics has been on a roll this year, releasing selects with the likes of Ganja White Night, Rusko, and GRiZ. His “Griztronics” partnership with the saxophone swinging electro-funk figurehead has been a festival pleaser as Subtronics continues to establishe himself as one of the most exciting up-and-coming bass acts on the scene in 2019.